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Harness the Power of Incentives for Affiliate Marketing

What is that one thing that almost compels people to buy stuff? That’s right: incentives. Incentives are great at motivating people to action: not just in purchasing, but in almost every aspect of decision-making. You can even take advantage of it to improve your affiliate marketing sales.


According to behavioural economics, one thing is for certain: people always respond to incentives.

UK affiliate marketing incentives

If you’re wondering what “behavioural economics” is, it’s a discipline that combines psychology and economics. It’s the stuff of thinkers like Dan Ariely and Daniel Kahneman. If you’ve read books like “Predictably Irrational” and “Thinking Fast and Slow”, you’d be familiar with the concept. But if you’ve never heard of any of these, here’s the gist of behavioural economics: It’s a field that studies how people make decisions in different situations. Studies in behavioural economics play around with different incentives to see how people would respond to situations given different incentives.

Anyway, we’re not digging deep into that field. Back to the topic of incentives. Again, people respond to them. And there are positive as well as negative incentives. Positive incentives would be things like rewards and bonuses, while negative incentives would be things like penalties or punishments. Positive incentives encourage good behaviours, while negative incentives discourage bad behaviours.

For example, consider how universities encourage attendance in forums and conferences: They give out free food. A lot of people may not be so interested in the forums; they’re into the free food more than anything. That’s a positive incentive encouraging people to attend conferences. On the other hand, look at how Singapore handles littering, which we all know is bad behaviour. The Singaporean government penalises those who litter by up to SGD1,000 (about £570), even for first-time offenders. The hefty fine is a huge negative incentive that, quite effectively, discourages littering.


So, how do incentives fit into affiliate marketing?

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Great question. And the answer is simple: They influence your clients in the same way. But of course, you don’t want to use a lot of negative incentives here; it only drives people away. Instead, use a lot of positive incentives, like bonuses, discounts, and freebies. Stuff like these would be enough to convince most people to buy from your affiliate link, especially if other affiliates are not offering any of those. The more your incentives stand out, the more people would like to buy from you.

Let’s say you’re promoting a weight loss drink. Perhaps you can throw in a bonus ebook on simple everyday workouts to help with losing weight. Or you could also add in an ebook about a diet plan to go with the weight loss drink. You can even include both. Then, tell people that they’re getting your bonuses along with the main product when they buy from your affiliate link. That alone may be enough to convince some to buy right away.


So then, take advantage of the power of incentives in your affiliate marketing business.

Excited Woman In Kitchen Using Laptop - Money

It certainly will boost your client base, and in turn your income as well. Just don’t overdo it – you don’t want to give away too much. Try out different incentive packages, see what works best, and stick to that. Also, be wary of any new trends in your niche, and adjust your strategy accordingly. Once you capture the market with the incentives you offer, your customers will pour in continuously.


Do you design ads for your affiliate products as well? Make sure to follow these simple design guidelines too (you can use them for any sort of ad; not just for Craigslist).


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